Late Third Set Rally Not Enough to Push Nighthawks Past Saints

Photo by: Chuck Kaufman
Photo by: Chuck Kaufman

BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Newbury College men's volleyball team fell to non-conference Emmanuel College in three sets, 3-0, Monday evening. First year outside hitter Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) led the Saints to their seventh victory posting a .481 attack percentage, tallying 16 kills on 27 attempts with just three errors.

Game one was evenly match for the first half of the set but Emmanuel dropped the hammer midway through the set with a 7-0 run, sparked by a kill from first year opposite hitter Kevin Orsley (San Jose, Calif.) , to take the 20-13 lead. Orsely was huge during the stretch run, registering three consecutive service aces as the Saints did not look back and jumped out to the 1-0 match advantage, taking the first set, 25-18.

Momentum remained on the Saints' side as they grabbed a two-set lead with a 25-17 win in game two. English and senior outside hitter Barrett Wingard (York, Pa.) combined to hit .350, registering 10 kills on 20 attempts with three errors while registering three total blocks – two assisted and one solo.

With their backs against the wall, trailing two games to zero, the Nighthawks were not going to be denied. After starting off the night slow, sophomore middle hitter Wade Robidioux (Agawam, Mass.) came alive in the third set, registering six kills on 11 attempts with just one error. Fellow sophomore, right side hitter Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.) and first year middle hitter Skyelar Whitehead (Belchertown, Mass.) combined for skills on 13 attempts.

But it was not enough. Despite only hitting .297 – their lowest hitting percentage of the match – the Saints were able to hang on to edge out the Nighthawks, 27-25. English remained even-keeled , registering a .556 attack percentage, tallying six kills on nine attempts with just one error.

Wingard followed up English in double figures, notching 13 kills on 31 attempts to hit .323 on the night. Hitting a remarkable .356 as a team with 49 kills, the entire Saint line-up hit in the positive numbers.

Whitehead led the Nighthawks posting a season-best .538 attack percentage with eight kills on 13 attempts while recording two block assists. Robidoux matched his team finishing with eight kills while Brown-Rose led the Nighthawks with a team-high nine kills.

Newbury drops to 2-12 on the season while Emmanuel climbs over .500, improving to 7-6. The Nighthawks return to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action Wednesday evening when they host Regis College at 7:00 p.m. looking to split the season series after falling to the Pride, 3-0, on February 11th in Weston, Mass. After their Alumni Match on Saturday February 27th, the Saints return to regular season play on March 1st when they host MIT at 8:00 p.m.